1956-57 and 1957-58 Top 30 -- CBS Continues Strong and ABC Grows With Western Trend

Written Clueless for Color by Bridger Cunningham

The hard-data wall appears to be 1963, with only top-30 data available prior.  Being this data is over 50 years old, locating complete season data from the elusive Nielsen organization is a daunting task.  So for the time being, enjoy a peak at the seasons.

Westerns and sitcoms became the rage, as their talents farmed out from variety and playhouse pieces became the leading talents to launch America's favorite new trend.  ABC showed signs of bouncing back, as this was their first season featuring 2 top-20 showpieces.  NBC's fortunes dwindled in 2nd, and CBS enjoyed a sterling view, despite I Love Lucy leaving the airwaves.

CBS losing I Love Lucy clearly harmed their stranglehold on 1st, albeit they maintained.  NBC showed signs of rebound thanks to the Western trend, which also helped a burgeoning ABC claim a growing 5 places in the top-30.  Sitcoms and westerns proliferated, and DuMont petered off the radar after a 12-year run.  No network would bare the title as 'the 4th Place" network for nearly 29 years, until that crass little network FOX made its debut in 1987.

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